Saturday, January 5, 2019

Top Pulls of 2018 : #1

Card: 2018 Topps NXT #A-AB Aleister Black AUTO Bronze Parallel (58/99)

From: Hobby Box

Why I Like It:
This stereotypical Holland-born WWE wrestler (Wait, that's not a thing.) is tearing it up in NXT. Is he a 5-tool player? He certainly seems to have the size, athleticism, charisma, and look. Maybe the only slight question mark is his mic presence, but there should be no doubt about this guy being a major star in the WWE for the next decade. I was kind of hoping to hit an Adam Cole auto in this box, but this might even be better.

So there it is, my top pull of 2018.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Top Pulls of 2018: #2

Card: 2014 Topps MLS Chrome #IF-DN Darlington Nagbe In Form Red Parallel (21/25)

From: Hobby Box

Why I Like It:
What's not to like about Darlington Nagbe? While my beloved Portland Timbers fell just short of their second MLS Cup title, it was some consolation that Nagbe was able to win another championship. To get a low-numbered parallel of a guy from your team makes this a great pull.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Top Pulls of 2018: #3

Card: 2018 Topps Update Series #OTN-KW Kolten Wong Own the Name Letter Patch (1/1)

From: Hobby Box

Why I Like It:
"Like" is a strong word. I like the money I will eventually get by selling this card. I like it that my annual box of Update will probably turn a net profit (between this and the Harper card). I like it that this is most likely an actual letter patch from an actual jersey, although the lawyer-ese on the back casts some doubt upon this supposition. When Indiana Jones barely escapes the poison-tipped darts shot by the Havitos in Raiders of the Lost Ark, he expresses an intense dislike of snakes. Later, when he descends into the Well of Souls, he laments, "Snakes... why did it have to be snakes?"

I say: "Cardinals... why did it have to be a Cardinal?"

Still a pretty damn good pull. Wong seems like a good guy playing for a rotten organization.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Top Pulls of 2018: #4

Card: 2017 Topps NXT #RA-TC Tommaso Ciampa AUTO

From: Hobby Box

Why I Like It:
Tommaso Ciampa, billed from Milwaukee (but seemingly having no real connection to the city), had one of the most consistently entertaining feuds of the year, against Johnny Gargano. Their work this past year has been worthy of Roman numeral references: Gargano/Ciampa I, Gargano/Ciampa II... the same way some of the heavyweight boxing bouts have been labeled in the past. While the signature itself is lacking, Ciampa can be forgiven for it; the sloppiness does not seep into his matches. Look for big things from Tommaso Ciampa in 2019, whether on the main roster or continuing to develop in NXT.

Top Pulls of 2018: #5

Card: 2017 Topps NXT #RA-BK Billie Kay AUTO Bronze Parallel (25/99)

From: Hobby Box

Why I Like It:
The IIconics are so much fun to watch (at least until they hit the ring, usually). They fill the old-school heel role amazingly well, shitting on their opponents and the crowd in equal measure. She and fellow Australian Peyton Royce don't exactly come in and sign the Soviet national anthem, but accomplish just as much merely by stating how bad Buffalo smells or how stupid the residents of Louisville are. I could watch the IIconics all day. Here's to hoping they get a chance to move up the card in 2019 now that WWE has announced the reactivation of the women's tag team titles.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Top Pulls of 2018: Honorable Mention

It was a lean year for me for buying cards this year. On the bright side, Mrs. Thorzul went back to working full time, but we still have the youngest one in day care. I probably opened only four boxes of cards the whole year. New baseball products pretty much sail right over my head, plus I''m still focused on trying to complete some of the sets I've been building for years, so most of my card dollar goes toward that. I've recently started filling out online surveys for money, which it what I use to purchase boxes of cards now. It's a strategy that keeps the spending in check, and keeps me motivated.

Here are some of the cards that didn't quite make the cut into my top five. In the long run, some of these will probably turn out to be more valuable than what I placed ahead of them. These cards are here mostly because I don't feel much of a connection to their subjects, at least at the current time.

2018 Topps NXT #A-LE Lacey Evans AUTO Silver Parallel (01/25)

We've been getting non-stop ads for Lacey (or "Lacy," as she signed) on WWE programming. We'll see how much of a push she actually ends up getting. Her WWII-era pin-up girl gimmick doesn't do much for me, though she does appear to be built like a brick shithouse.

2018 Topps NXT #AR-AA Andrade "Cien" Almas AUTO Shirt Relic Blue Parallel (44/50)

This was a bonus hit that came out of my hobby box. This guy's pretty good, but we don't see much out of him character-wise. Still, he has a lot of potential.

2018 Topps NXT #A-PD Pete Dunne AUTO

This dude cracks me up. He's got the guts to wear the goofy women's-style singlet in the ring while still being an ass kicker.

2018 Topps Update Series #US209 Bryce Harper Black Parallel (31/67)

This card is aesthetically pleasing, with Harper in the on-deck circle peering into an endless abyss. Kind of like his offseason, I suppose. I plan on selling this soon and using the profits to buy something better.

Not bad runners-up. Stay tuned for the five best of the year.